Well, I am back!!! I am happy to say everything, er, well, on the ship everything went well and my mom, niece and I had an amazingly wonderful time!
Cabin-the suite was perfect!
Weather--hot hot hot
Entertainment--never a dull moment
Highlights--Wahoo I won!!! see below what I won...
We were supposed to leave Edmonton to fly to Calgary at 6am, but we had to de ice the plane and that took a wee while since two other planes were waiting. It was -20ish Celcius, so it was cold. We eventually took off at 6:30 and made it to Calgary at 7:10. We had to be at the opposite end of Ca;gary Int'l and waited forever to get out bags. I can tell you that we just BARELY made the flight to Houston. They called final boarding just as we got there at 7:50 for the 8am flight. We landed in Houston early (1:05pm) and waited almost an hour for the shuttle to Galveston. At this point, we hadn't eaten anything since 2:30am. We were all starving and there were no places in IAH where we could get a sandwich or something we could eat. There was five fast food outlets when you get through security, but outside where we were waiting, NOTHING!!!.....The shuttle took over 2 hours to get us to our hotel (2nd last drop off), but we did encounter a wee problem, no one told me that Galveston celebrates Mardi Gras and that the Mardi Gras parade closes down seawall from 21/22st to 25th street....we were on 23rd and seawall right next to the Wendy's. Well, she got us as close to the hotel as possible--Wendy's parking lot.....I had three bags plus my beach bag to haul and my mom and niece had two each..I know, two suitcases plus the rolling carryon...I know, because I intended to fill em all up! The Mardi Gras parade was just getting prepared when we got there, ok, so they took two or three hours to prepare, so we were being entertained with live band music.
Our hotel was a sad disappointment. The hotel said newly refurbished. I don't think so, based on the locks on the doors that were broken and the sad state of the room we stayed in, or the elevators that took forever. We shrugged it all off and didn't worry too much as long as the room was neat and clean. The balcony looked like it had seen better days, but it could have been hurricane damage from the hurricanes that came through. The concrete was quite pitted. We had a 5th floor room and had a good view of the parade. We did venture out onto the beach and go for a walk, even though it was fairly cool outside. We were told that the cabs would be hard to get because of Mardi Gras so we called the next morning to get a cab to get us earlier than we wanted to go because the streets were going to be blocked off again by 11am and we didn't want to do a tour to get to the port when it was a quick $5-6 cab ride.
The cab came and got us at 10:45ish and were at the port in a few minute. We gladly paid a porter to take our bags to the ship and wet to check in. We were in and checked in within 10 minutes. We were there before 11:30, which is when they started letting people onboard. Everyone was seated and we waited patiently. There was a large wedding party that got to go ahead of us VIP's, but I can understand when you have 30 or 40 people to check in, it doesn't make a lot of sense to stand in line, especially when you have a bride and several bridesmaids all decked out in bridal wear. We finally were told we could get on and the people that were waiting in the regular line wanted to crash, but the Carnival reps told em we get on first and they had to wait. There was perhaps 40 of us waiting, so we were in the first 100 people to get on the ship. We dashed up to the Lido deck and found a good table to stay until 1pm when we would go to Camp Carnival.
We ate and had some tropical/fruity drink. My mom took a napolean and a slice of key lime pie. She told me to get one of each, so I did. I tried the key lime pie and I have never had key lime pie that good, I would rate it a 15 on a scale of 10! The Napolean was just as good (each day they had a different flavoured one at lunch time). My niece and I grabbed our cameras and went wandering to take photos. We had a good time, naturally, we had to stop for ice cream before we left the Lido deck. After we did that we came back and before long it was time to check camp carnival out. The playroom is quite large and my niece looked like she'd have fun. As it turned out, there weren't many girls here age that went each day, so she found one or two girls to have fun with.
The suite was quite nice. There was so much space to put everything. I took the closet and counter space in the dressing area (I'd need it!). My niece decided to live out of her suitcases....ya, I know, she's not quite 12 and didn't want to bother unpacking and then packing....All of our bags were there, one by one, and I was all unpacked before we set sail. The rest of the night went well and we all had fun exploring the ship.
Monday and Tuesday were sea days so it was activity after activity intermigled with food and drink in between. I did win a ship on a stick on the first day, but as far as activities go, there were lots, but some overlapped and I couldn't get to some of then because they'd be on opposite ends of the ship!!!!
Wednesday we were in Jamiaca and toured Rose Hall. My mom and niece choose to go shopping, but didn't spend too much because the people were too pushy. My niece had her hair braided and she was happy. We called home, natrually, my calling card wouldn't work, so we called collect. We were worried about our cats, so we asked my sister-in-law to pop over and just check out if my house sitter is doing what I asked her to do....The rest of the day was fun, I spent $250 and filled a whole shelf of the closet, of which I left three free for what I bought...
Thursday-Grand Cayman-We called home and found out that my cat/house sitter probably hadn't been there for at least two days. My SIL did put food and water down, but it really bothered us that the sitter wasn't doing what we PAID her to do. We moved on and found a tour bus that would take us to the turtle farm. As it turned out the tour bus also stopped at Hell and a Turtuga rum store leaving us only 20-30 minutes at the turtle farm....ya, we told them we wanted to spend an hour or two at the turtle farm and somehow the whole tour was only two hours.....ok, so 2nd time I get slammed and didn't get to see what I wanted....guess I go back, again!!! I had a mission to find a pirate hat, which I did, finally!!! I picked up two black coral pieces at Bernard K Passman (they still don't admit the old guy is dead-he died in late 2006). We went back to the ship after I found my Turtuga rum cakes. It was hot, and I had spent way to much money ($980). We called home and found out that the cat/house sitter wasn't there again because there was no sign of any food or water again! SIL to the rescue. At this point we just told her to go over and make sure everything was OK.
Friday-Cozumel-I did the dolphin swim and snorkle, and my mom/niece did the Atlantis sub tour. I had a blast swimming and playing with Melchi and Titan the dolphins! I even have a snorkel to remember it by...I called my house sitter when I was coming back to the ship for more money and she claimed to be going over and there was plenty of food and water....at that point I said whatever, and told myself that I'll just forget the fiasco happened and go on with it and have a good time because the furball foursome did have someone going over twice a day. After I got more money I dashed off to Margaritaville and then did some more shopping. I spent $220......ya....
Saturday was the last day at sea and I found that there weren't as many activities, so I just took it easy and did my own thing. We all did. By day three my niece wasn't clinging to one of us and would venture off and do her own thing. Now the good part, at the past passenger party they were selling the free cruise raffle tickets--I bought 20 for $20. They said to be in the lounge at 4:15 for the drawing so I tore myself away from the slot machines and went down to the lounge. I am VERY happy to say that MY TICKET WAS PULLED!!!! I won a free cruise for two!!! Ya, it's a Cat 6A, but I'll see if I can pay to upgrade to a balcony, but hey, free!!!!!!!!! I am quite tickled at that!!!!!!
Sunday-Debarkation time. We had early flights so we were waiting in the lounge at 7:45 and waited for close to an hour when our tag number was called (#3). We left and were on our way at 9ish, but encountered a roadblock and were stuck for 30 minutes waiting for the roadwork to clear. We got to the airport with around 90 minutes to spare. My mom and niece thought we had toones of time, but no, by the time we checked in and got through security, we had less than 45 minutes til the plane left. The plane left exactly at 1:35, so needless to say, there wasn't much chilling out time at the airport. We got home around 9ish pm and were so glad to see the boys (Rio and Jazz) and the girls (Boo and Penny). Boo and Penny were not happy campers, but they are better today....
I am completely unpacked and laundry is still being done....I think I need to relax. I can upload the 550 photos I took tomorrow and get started on renaming and organizing the pictures....
Overall, I/we had a absolutely wonderful time!!!!!!
Ok, I best be off, I need to RnR....